Six Anti-Abortion Protestors Convicted for Behavior in Mississippi in July
The Jackson, Mississippi Municipal Court found six anti-abortion protestors guilty yesterday for charges brought against them during Operation Save America's week-long siege of the last remaining abortion clinic in the state this summer. In total, 13 protestors faced charges of violating Jackson's special event ordinance, disorderly conduct, impeding traffic, and disturbing the peace, according to the Clarion-Ledger. Those found guilty will be fined $100, though there is a 30-day stay on paying the fines to allow for the filing of appeals; Reverend Philip "Flip" Benham, the leader of Operation Save America (OSA) and the principal organizer of the July protest, told the Clarion-Ledger that the group plans on appealing the guilty verdicts.
The weeklong protest at the Jackson Women's Health Organization, which lasted from July 15 to July 22, 2006, was an attempt to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. Despite disruptive activity, including anti-Muslim and anti-gay protests, OSA did not impede the clinic from functioning normally. The Feminist Majority Foundation assisted the clinic, providing resources, support, and community organizers to aid the clinic during OSA's protest.
"We need to remind people how (the anti-abortion protestors) were acting... aggressive, disrespectful, and rude," Michelle Colon, president of the Jackson chapter of the National Organization for Women, told the Clarion-Ledger. "They do what they always do, this is nothing new... These people claim to be Christians, but here they are attacking people."
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .